Company Fires Woman After Learning She Has Stage 3 Cancer


Mere hours after discovering that she had stage three esophageal cancer, Elisa Madonia was faced with a second, life-changing blow: she was fired from her job.

Madonia had been working at Chicago property management company S37 for four years, when, in October, doctors delivered the grim news.  Doctors told her she might need to take significant time off from work for chemo and surgery.

They also sent letters to her employers, describing the same message. Two hours later, Madonia’s employers called her into their offices and terminated her contract.

Madonia has said that they “suggested she resign” and “offered to pay six months of COBRA if she signed a separation letter.”

Eugene Hollander, Madonia’s attorney, has spoken out against the treatment Madonia received. “I think they had an obligation to sit down with Elise and say, hey, what can we do here? Can you work three days a week? Can you telecommute for some period of time?”

Madonia has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit. She has been undergoing treatment for several months, and is currently recovering from surgery.


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